It's a good idea to deep clean your washing machine regularly, especially if you often wash clothes with cold water. While it's a great way to save money on energy bills and is better for the environment, there is a downside – washing at 40 degrees or less will not completely rid your washing machine of mould and bacteria.

But a special 'service' wash will deal with this problem. A 'service' wash is running the machine using hot water – but no clothes. This should be done once a month, but check your instruction manual.

There are other parts of the washing machine that need attention too. Remember, before you do any maintenance on your washing machine, turn it off and unplug it.

Clean the seal, drawer and filter

  • Mould and bacteria can fester in the rubber seal around the door opening. After washing have a look at the seal to see if it needs a scrub – doing this regularly can help prevent the build-up of mould and bacteria. If mould has had too long to fester, it may have sunk into the porous rubber of the seal and be impossible to remove. If this happens, you may need to replace the door seal.
  • Mould and bacteria also have a tendency to build up in the detergent drawer and lint filter – so be sure to clean this area too.

Leave the door and drawer open

  • Leaving the machine's door open after washing allows air to circulate in the drum and helps prevent the growth of mould and bacteria. Leave the machine's detergent drawer open for the same reason.

Check the stand pipe

  • If you notice the washing machine still tends to send out a bad smell, you may have a partial blockage in the standpipe. If you suspect this is the case, use a drain un-blocker to try and clear the pipe. Consult your washing machine handbook.